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Teens form human chain to save siblings after sled crashes into icy NJ pond

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 2:16 AM EST
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MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (WCBS) - Five teenagers from New Jersey are being hailed as heroes for saving two young children after their sled crashed into an icy pond.

As snow piled up and excitement ran high, 8-year-old Olivia Heid and her 4-year-old brother RJ hopped on their sled for the first time ever Thursday at the Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The kids were having a great time until their sled lost control.

“Oh my God, this could have been a catastrophic situation,” said Stephanie Irlbeck, the children’s mother. “You could see in their faces that they knew something bad was about to happen.”

Olivia Heid, 8, and her 4-year-old brother RJ were rescued from a New Jersey pond after their...
Olivia Heid, 8, and her 4-year-old brother RJ were rescued from a New Jersey pond after their sled lost control.(Source: Heid Family, WCBS via CNN)

The sled steered right into an icy pond.

“It was, like, freezing. Our faces were in shock. RJ was, like, really cold,” Olivia said.

Five teenagers heard the commotion and jumped into action. Kieran Foley, 14, hopped into the water, rescuing RJ first then Olivia next, handing off each child one by one to his friends, who formed a human chain.

Five teenagers jumped into action after the children's sled crashed into the water, forming a...
Five teenagers jumped into action after the children's sled crashed into the water, forming a human chain to rescue them.(Source: WCBS via CNN)

“We definitely had to do something. We can’t just sit there and watch,” Kieran said.

The teens are now being heralded as heroes in the community, but they don’t accept the title, saying they did what anyone else would do.

“We hope that anybody would do that. It just happened to be us there,” said one of the teens, Tyler Armagan.

Olivia and RJ’s parents disagree, saying the teens didn’t hesitate for a moment to help their kids and deserve all the recognition in the world.

“What they did was just amazing,” said Richard Heid, the children’s father. “It was awesome to see little kids do that.”

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